Like I’m always tellin’ you, Buzz thought he was born with a tongue that had been stolen straight from the mouth of an angel and that nothin’ and no one could resist the stuff that floated out of that great big pie hole.
Except for Beccy Swizzle that is. Buzz could be havin’ one of those days when he could make a blind man smile and then he’d get to Beccy Swizzle and she was like a cold day in Minnesota.
“She ain’t got a heart, that one” said Buzz after his twentieth attempt to get Beccy smilin’.
“Maybe she ain’t got a brain, too,” he said, a little unkindly.
I’m thinkin’ that if she didn’t have a brain she’d be doin’ nothin’ but smilin’, the way Farmer George’s boy does ever since he was kicked in the head from Daisy the bull. Yeh, you heard right, a bull named Daisy. No wonder he kicked people in the head. Anyhoo I’m getting’ all confused now, what was it we were talkin’ about? Oh, yeh, Buzz and Beccy and the smilin’.
I heard from Tommy Kinder, who’d heard it from Beccy’s Maw’s best friend, that Beccy came from a family of folks who were missin’ muscles in their faces. You could tell them the saddest story that a man (or woman) could ever tell and that family would just look at you mean, like.
So if this was true, then Buzz didn’t have a snowball’s chance of making Beccy or anyone with that blood, smile. And yeh, you can guess I never told Buzz that little bit of the story. I just bet him 5 bits that he couldn’t do it.
“You see if I don’t make her smile,” he said, real honest and mad, straight to my face.
I hate to take a man’s five bits but a bet’s a bet. Except I knew Buzz would never have the five bits to give me. Even if he did, his Maw would steal it out of his britches before he was awake.
That was the kinda Maw that she was.
Buzz felt that he needed to warm up to compete with Beccy and her sour face; the way one of those runners does in competitions. So Buzz would start the day smiling, and that included at school when he got into trouble from Miss Hoster for smilin’ when she was tellin’ the class all about her cat and how it had been hit by Old Creeky McGuire’s tractor.
He smiled even when he was eatin’ and I reckons, you should get some sort of medal to be able to do that stuff. Buzz is real talented in ways I ain’t sure if God meant him to be.
Anyhoo, Saturday morning and the dead faced Swizzle family are out and about goin’ here and there but you’d bet that they’d just come from a funeral or were goin’ to one.
Buzz stands right in the middle of the sidewalk and grins the biggest grin he’s ever grinned at the Swizzles. Boy, I didn’t know anyone’s mouth could go that wide (apart from the wide-mouthed-frog we got in our back yard).
You can see from the look on Beccy’s paw’s face that he ain’t too happy with Buzz threatin’ his kinsfolk with a stupid grin, and so Beccy’s paw steps forward to ask Buzz to move. But Buzz thinks that the paw is goin’ to hit him and steps back off the sidewalk, and tumbles face down into some horse manure.
Well, I ain’t so sure that the Swizzles do have a muscle problem in their faces,‘cause the way they laughed, you would have thought they were gonna burst.
And Buzz, well he wasn’t smilin’ anymore but I did give him his five bits, ‘cause he sure earned it.
bobby stevenson 2014